Welch v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: January 8, 2016
  • Case #: 15-6418
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 683 F. 3d 1304 (11th Cir. 2012)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the ruling in Johnson v United States applies retroactively, which held that increasing sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause violates due process; and whether the lower court erred in finding that “robbery by sudden snatching” qualifies as a violent felony under the residual clause of the Act?

Petitioner pleaded guilty to possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Petitioner’s sentence was enhanced under the “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) because of a previous “robbery by sudden snatching” conviction. Instead of 0-10 years, Petitioner’s sentence was increased to a minimum of 15 years. Petitioner appealed, seeking to vacate the ruling by arguing that “robbery by sudden snatching” did not qualify as a violent felony for purposes of sentence enhancement under the ACCA’s residual clause. The Eleventh Circuit denied the motion to vacate and affirmed the district court decision. After Petitioners conviction, the Court ruled in Johnson v. United States that increasing sentencing under the residual clause of the ACCA is a violation of due process. Petitioner now asks the court to determine whether the Johnson ruling applies retroactively and whether the district court erred when it denied Petitioner’s motion to vacate the ruling that “robbery by sudden snatching” qualifies as a violent felony under the residual clause of the ACCA.

Advanced Search